I had the honor of attending and participating in the legendary 48th crowning of the Miss Black America Pageant 2016 last evening at the historical Mitten Hall of Temple University in Philadelphia, which also holds great history within it's walls. The ambiance was of excitement from every corner of the hall, from talking to the young ladies in the Little Miss Black America to the legendary Ms.Trudy Haynes, the nation's first African American TV weather reporter for WXYZ-TV in Detroit, MI and the first African American TV news reporter for KYW-TV in Philadelphia. The panel of judges whose accruements include a great diversity of awards and super achievements, included Founder and Exec./Artistic Director at Philadanco, Joan Myers Brown, Program Director of Fleek98fm.com, Parris "ParryP" Ellis, Executive and General Manager of Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co., Zaid Hamid, Keyboardist, Music Producer, Arranger, Musical Director, Bill Jolly, Record Producer and Recording Artist, Mike Zombie, Entertainer, Actress,Impersonator, Humanitarian, Sylvia Traymore, AACC President, Michael Banks. The Miss Black America Pageant presents the greatness of positive opportunities and growth for a lifetime of success "Sow The Seeds Of Positivity, Reap The Flowers Of Success" J. Morris Anderson I had the honor of speaking with the Presenter of the Miss Black America Miss Positivity Award, singer, actress, poet, Patience Carter, who is also one of the survivors of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando Florida. The Miss Black America Pageant, founded in 1968 by Philadelphia entrepreneur J. Morris Anderson, connects and extends invaluable opportunities of growth and relationship building so all of the national contestants are able to take home a positive and winning experience. At the conclusion of this exciting evening of fashion shows narrated with the lyrical beats of great artists, performances by the Little Miss Black America and talented young women showcasing their brilliance, artist, entrepreneur and Delaware State University alumni, Miss Delaware, Nicole Lynette Hibbert became the new Miss Black America. Miss Hibbert will take home an exquisite Jewelry line, get pampered with a luxurious spa package, a getaway beautiful vacation, fitness program, a fabulous new wardrobe, $2,000 career award and for the next 12 months will participate in an Ambassadorship to the United Nations.
Pageants are the doors to great connections of mentorship, extensions of careers, humanitarian and international causes that carry it's successes out into our communities and around the globe. It is commonly a little girl's dream and a young woman's phenomenal opportunity to proudly represent her state, interests, brilliance and talent. In 1967 it was indeed little girl's whose dreams were to become Miss America when they grew up. This is what gave their dad the idea to create the Miss Black America Pageant. J. Morris Anderson asked his two daughters, five and seven at the time, "When you all are grown, what would you like to become?” They both said, “I want to be Miss America Daddy.” In 1967 women of color were excluded from the Miss America Pageant. He would not say no, instead it was this moment that J. Morris Anderson came up with the idea to stage the Miss Black America Pageant.
Despite opposition, history was made in 1968 with the 1st Miss Black America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, held the same day, time and on the same boardwalk as the Miss America Pageant. On this day Pennsylvania's own Saundra Williams would proudly wear the prestigious Miss Black America crown and create history by becoming the 1st Miss Black America 1969.
It has been 48 years of opportunities of greatness for women of color all over the United States with famous contestants as Oprah Winfrey representing her home state of Tennessee. "With My Title, I Can Show Black Women They, Too, Are Beautiful". Saundra Williams, 1st Miss Black America
The Miss Black America Pageant, a platform for women of color to showcase the brilliance of their greatness and gain invaluable opportunities for a lifetime.
l love smoothies all year long, but the Summer creates a natural craving for it's healthy and refreshing taste. A great blender, fresh vegetables and fruits is all you need. It's easy too, peel, blend and drink. For #SmoothieMonday I blended up 1 cucumber, very filling with only 16 calories, digests slowly helping us feel satisfied for long periods of time. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds. This vegetable is hydrating for Summer high temps as it's 95% water and an anti-inflammatory which is great for the Summer heat. A brain food with benefits that protects our memory by aiding our brain cells. It consists of Polyphenols lowering our risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Multiple B vitamins, B1, B5 and B7 known to aid stress, potassium associated with lowering blood pressure is also in this refreshing vegetable. 1 apple, the most popular in the fruit family. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Here's how, just 95 calories in a medium size apple. Excellent for digestion, rich in fiber and loaded with antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenolics, Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium. Fresh bright and firm is the most delicious. Spinach, 2 cups, long known for it's powerhouse strength is family to beets, chard and quinoa and definitely has the Popeye effect by remarkably restoring our energy, here's how: rich in iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin b2, folic acid and magnesium. Medium to dark green is the best. Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of ice and you're ready to cheer to vibrant energy and all of the healthy benefits of smoothie nutrition.
On the dating scene we want to be social, unwind, relax, get rid of new date jitters and nervous butterflies, so we reach for a great glass of wine or a cool cocktail. The idea is to be our best without feeling stressed. This is all fun and fine but be mindful there is no running history in the back of someone's mind regarding you. This is the picture of experience your date will take home and remember. The goal is to have a great time, relax and keep it enjoyable for both while keeping in control.
Know your limits as not to overload your system. Moderation is best, 1 glass, tops 2. Do not feel put on the spot even when offered, it's okay to say no thank you. If by chance you over stretch your limits have a back-up plan in place. Be mindful of safety first. Call a friend to pick you up.
New dates run similar to job interviews. Regardless of friends you may have in common, who your date knows, heard or read about you, this is your debut. Keep it polished and shine your best self.
A Lifetime of Vows For Former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush On Their 71st Wedding Anniversary
The Longest Married Presidential Couple is the 41st former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, congratulations on your 71st wedding anniversary! Their lifetime of vows, started on January 6, 1945. They met in 1941 at a holiday dance and became engaged before George served as U.S. Navy Pilot during World War ll.
What are their ingredients to the long wedded bliss? The good times of humor, great laughs, an endless amount of great love and most definitely romance.
The incredible bond of friendship has kept them loving and strong through it all.
President Bush and first lady Barbara, I wish you the continued beauty of the passions you share. You're an inspiration to great and everlasting love.
Like the rest of the world New Year's Morning I stood in numbness at the lost of one of the world's best vocal artist, Natalie Maria Cole, an accomplished singer, songwriter and the ultimate sophisticated performer. The ease of how she performed with such beautiful grace was wonderful to watch. Listening to her voice, if one could imagine an angel singing it would be that of Natalie Cole's sweet voice. Does one inherit such great talent in their genes, as Natalie being the daughter of the great Nat King Cole? It sure makes you wonder. In 1975, I was listening to the radio and heard her soft and soothing voice. it oozed smiles and kindness. It was uplifting and I could easily sing and dance to it. I couldn't help but really love the beauty of the lyrics, it's what we all secretly desired. "This Will Be, An Everlasting Love" was playing, the debut of her first of many hit albums. I fell in love with her instantly and bought her album that day. Love debuted in every song on the album. This was real, deep down within the heart. Natalie sang about loving hard, heartbreak and following her heart. No doubt she had known love and it's pain. There she was the picture on her first album cover with her hand signaling, "here I am", she was absolutely beautiful. I played "This Will Be, An Everlasting Love until the grooves went white and sang it to the top of my lungs when my parents were away. Natalie became my idol, I bought every song, read everything about her and never missed her on television. She was the singer I wanted to be. Beautiful, friendly and kind. Her music crossed over from R & B, Pop, Jazz to Big Band, Natalie could sing it all. She was definitely unstoppable. Everything her voice sang turned to gold and materialized into record breaking album sales. The world was listening and gave her well deserved attention as she won 9 Grammy Awards, Album of The Year and a magnitude of musical awards.
Her voice to lyrics became a storybook, you sang along to follow her story. Natalie has walked in the shoes as daughter, wife, mother, businesswoman and talented performer. Like many of us she has lived through chapters of love, joy, pain and grand success. She inspired us with her smiles, her relentless strength, genuine love and her ability to stand tall through it all.
The beautiful interactive duet with her father, the great Nat King Cole is the signature for both, "Unforgettable" is what the great Natalie Cole will always be.
Express yourself in the name of friendship and your love will grow endlessly. Can we be lovers and great friends? Absolutely we can. The path to growing our intimate relationship is ultimately through friendship. When we hold back pertinent thoughts and information it's equivalent to door hinges not being bolted with the right screws. The door works but without notice it will eventually collapse. Talk, communicate and do it often. Adapt your relationship to this openness.
As your partner is talking be present in listening at 100%. This means delaying our next thought of the next thing we're going to say. Pausing in conversation is necessary. Intense listening is miraculous in our relationships. We can only be understood if we have been heard. The more you do it the more natural it will become and the better you will feel. This effective communication takes the fear out of our talks. As we talk, we are confiding in our partners, signaling to them that their role goes way beyond the partnership and spousal role, viewing them as a trusted friend. This creates great trust that magnifies with long lasting love as a result. When we hold back, it feels like an embedded backpack has been sewn into our spine that increases it's weight over time. Without warning it picks away at our relationships with resentment creeping in.
The words we choose and the tone we use is a mindset.
Listening to ourselves here is key and takes practice. It's a way of checking ourselves, as it disciplines our emotions. The most wonderful thing that occurs with this level of open communication is the freedom to remain our own unique individual selves. We are happiest when we do not have to shelter who we are. How we feel in our partnership directly connects to all areas of our life. Confidence and self-esteem both play a large role here.
Developing this part of our relationship takes time and has a life changing impact on our lives. We are happier, healthier and more successful people because of it.